Business Wrap: Openings, Expansions, and Closings

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News earlier this week that Matson will raise its shipping service rates is sure to affect Big Island businesses next year.

However, the local economy appears to continue to claw its way out of the economic slump. Island unemployment is maintaining a downward pattern while new businesses continue to open.

Here’s a look at what’s been happening in business news around the island this week.

Henderson Design Group Opens at the Shops at Mauna Lani

Well known California-based interior designer Eric Henderson and his creative team opened a permanent shop on the Big Island recently. The Henderson Design Group, a residential interior design firm based in San Francisco, opened a satellite office at the Shops at Mauna Lani on November 17.

Henderson says over the past eight years, he and his team have completed more than two-dozen projects in West Hawaii, primarily in Hualalai, Kukio, and Mauna Kea.

Noting that Big Island projects have grown to represent at least half his business, Henderson said it made sense to launch a permanent office here on island.


Encompassing all aspects of the design process including designing custom furniture pieces, Henderson says the satellite office is more a design studio than a retail outlet.

The Henderson Design Group at the Shops At Mauna Lani, is open Monday-Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. or by appt. Call (808) 936-1613 for more info.


Audio Innovations Expanding in Hilo

Audio Innovations in Hilo recently expanded its showroom and its selection of car audio products and services.

Located at 239 Kalanikoa Street across from the Kawamoto swimming pool, the shop recently expanded its selection and is now the authorized dealer for more than a dozen American and European car audio manufacturers.


Owner Stacey Urasaki says the showroom was expanded to include more CD and DVD head units, and now features more than 40 pairs of speakers for customers to experience before purchase.

While the company specializes in high-end sound quality speaker systems, Urasaki points out that the company also installs car alarms, back up cameras and back up sensors to aid in reversing.

Audio Innovations, 239 Kalanikoa Street, Hilo is open Monday-Friday, 2 p.m.-10 p.m., and Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Call 961-6219 for more info.


Pho Café Closing its Doors Tonight in Pahoa

You have until 9 p.m. tonight to taste the Vietnamese food at Pho Café in Pahoa. Citing economic factors, owner Le Schumaker said she is shutting down the well-liked restaurant at the close of business today.


The eatery, which has been in business for two years, received consistently high online reviews.

Schumaker has essentially been a one-woman operation, with all menu items made to order. She has operated the restaurant in addition to being a teacher at Malama Waldorf School in Keaau. Schumaker said she’ll continue teaching full time.

Pho Café is open until 9 p.m. tonight at 15-2929 Pahoa Village Road. Call (808) 430-2308 for info.


Hilo Restaurant Casa de Luna Relaunching as Pineapples

After 10 months as a Spanish-fusion restaurant, Casa de Luna in Hilo is switching gears and relaunching with a new name and menu. The open air restaurant at the corner of Mamo and Keawe has struggled since its opening, receiving poor online reviews.

Siblings Scott, Pam, and Trish Owens decided to revamp the menu and change the name in an effort to revive the restaurant. They did so with the blessing of the restaurant’s owner, fellow sibling Dave Owens who is currently out of the country.

The restaurant, renamed Pineapples, will feature “island fresh” cuisine. According to The Hawaii Tribune Herald, the restaurant will reopen December 18.

Pineapples, located at 332 Keawe Street, Hilo, will keep the same operating hours as Casa, Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. til pau. Call (808) 238-5324 for more info.


If your business has an opening, closing, promotion, retirement, new product release, special event, award, new location, or expansion, please let us know. Email us at [email protected].

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